Health Supreme by Sepp Hasslberger

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September 01, 2003

Heliobacter pylori and Enderlein

Jenny Thompson describes, in her one of her most recent newsletters, how vitamin C as well as beneficial gut bacteria may be able to kill heliobacter pylori, the bug believed to cause stomach ulcers.

She admits that there are doubts about causation, and states: "Questions about cause and effect, however, produce less certain answers. For instance: Does vitamin C reduce the chance of h. pylori infection, or does h. pylori cause vitamin C levels to be diminished?"

According to Enderlein's maxim "le terrain c'est tout" (the terrain is all-important) there may well be a third possible choice: Does vitamin C (and beneficial bacteria) keep the stomach lining healthy thus keeping the bacterium inactive? In other words, heliobacter pylori may be only an indicator (of the presence of damage to your stomach or intestine) rather than the causative agent.

Most, if not all, bacteria grow only in an environment that is conductive to their growth, and more than "cause the illness", they are the clean-up crew that comes along to get rid of the garbage left by an illness. The human body is full of bacteria and virus, but most of the time (when we keep healthy and well nourished), these bugs have nothing to do and so stay nicely inactive.

Of course that would question the whole rationale for using antibiotics - unless in a real emergency where the sheer mass of bacteria threatens life - or indeed vaccinations, in an attempt to induce the body to "fight the bugs". So - in keeping with Enderlein, take care of your body's "terrain" by good nutrition, especially vitamin C and a properly functioning intestine, and let the bugs starve....

Following Your Gut

Health Sciences Institute e-Alert

August 28, 2003


Dear Reader,

As regular e-Alert readers are well aware, our in-house "nutrition physician," HSI Panelist Allan Spreen, M.D., has frequently written about the benefits of vitamin C, with an emphasis on taking doses much higher than the recommended daily allowance.

Now, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, anyone who's acted on Dr. Spreen's vitamin C advice, may be preventing the onset of stomach ulcers, as well as a host of other serious health problems that ulcers can lead to.

Bacterium blocker

As we first told members in 1999, helicobacter pylori (h. pylori) is a bacterium that creates peptic ulcers by weakening the stomach's protective coating, allowing acid to irritate the sensitive stomach lining. Research has shown that h. pylori infection may also play a role in the development of heart disease, autoimmune diseases, and skin diseases. The most recent research even suggests a link between h. pylori and cancers of the stomach, pancreas, and the larynx.

A team of researchers from the San Francisco VA Medical Center recently designed a study to determine the relationship between blood serum levels of vitamin C and h. pylori infection.

Researchers examined blood samples and accompanying data collected from more than 6,700 adult subjects as part of the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted in the late 80s and early 90s. About one-third of the blood samples revealed the presence of h. pylori bacterium. The samples were also tested to measure levels of ascorbic acid (vitamin C).

After accounting for variable factors that included ethnicity, researchers concluded that among white subjects who showed the highest levels of vitamin C, h. pylori infection was reduced by 25 percent. However, non-white subjects with high vitamin C levels didn't receive the same benefit; only a very modest correlation to reduced infection.

These are the correlations the researchers are certain of. Questions about cause and effect, however, produce less certain answers. For instance: Does vitamin C reduce the chance of h. pylori infection, or does h. pylori cause vitamin C levels to be diminished? Also, h. pylori infection often occurs when patients are very young, leading to ulcers later in life. Whether vitamin C could prevent this early infection is not known. Some animal studies, however, have indicated that h. pylori infection may be reduced with high levels of vitamin C intake.

Obviously, more research is called for. But in spite of the unknown factors, the lead researcher, Joel A. Simon, M.D., told Science Daily that he would encourage everyone - especially those who test positive for h. pylori - to increase consumption of vitamin C-rich foods.

Antibiotic alternatives

For many years the mainstream dismissed the idea that bacteria caused ulcers. In the past two decades all that has changed, and yet many doctors still don't test for h. pylori. And when a patient does test positive for the bacterium, many doctors simply reach for a prescription antibiotic - a practice that has led to new drug-resistant strains of h. pylori. Even worse, antibiotics can upset the delicate balance of helpful bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract, paving the way for more problems.

At HSI, we've written about several natural therapies that can rid your body of h. pylori without the unwanted side effects of antibiotics. In the August 2001 issue of the Member's Alert newsletter, we told you about a formula called Probiotics 12 Plus that contains a beneficial bacterial strain proven to destroy resistant pathogens. Laboratory testing has shown that this formula's helpful bacterium, called TH 10, inhibits all strains of h. pylori - even those that have become resistant to antibiotics. Probiotics 12 Plus is available from Uni Key Health Systems. For more information, you can visit the web site, at

In the November 1999 Members Alert, we told you how lactoferrin, a protein found in bovine colostrum, can kill h. pylori bacterium, and may also help protect you from becoming infected with h. pylori in the first place. Studies show that lactoferrin binds iron in your blood, keeping it away from cancerous cells, bacteria, viruses and other pathogens that require iron to grow. Research also suggests that the lactoferrin protein activates specific strands of DNA that turn on the genes that launch your immune response. Lactoferrin is available through many sources online and in most health food stores.

Hopefully you'll never need to worry about h. pylori, which infects about one in ten people. But to be on the safe side, it appears that boosting your vitamin C intake just might help prevent the painful ulcers caused by h. pylori infection, as well as other far more serious health problems.


Are you sick of eating turkey burgers and sprouts... sick of forcing gallons of water down your throat... sick of exercising until you can hardly breathe?

Before you give up everything just because "everyone" says it's healthy... Find out why vegetarians actually die younger, why there is no benefit to drinking gallons of water, why you should keep your cholesterol level above 200, and many more myth-busting facts that will lead you on the road to real health.

Stop depriving yourself and find out how you can enjoy the food you love while improving your health at the same time!


.. and another thing

If you're looking for natural ways to get more calcium in your diet, an HSI member named Edwin has a suggestion. In fact, he has three:

"Like everyone else in the alternative health field, you list a few typical vegetable sources for calcium. I don't understand why you guys don't list some of the best natural sources for calcium in a highly absorbable form: sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and figs."

Edwin is absolutely right: all three of these foods are rich in calcium, and each one also has a very efficient calcium delivery system.

In "Skinny Dipping" (3/4/03), I told you how calcium can be difficult for your body to absorb. Fortunately, magnesium and phosphorus help facilitate calcium absorption. And it just so happens that sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and figs all contain good amounts of both magnesium and phosphorus.

These foods are also high in protein and iron, with a few vitamins thrown in as well. But one note for those who are avoiding carbohydrates: 1.5 ounces of figs (approximately 4 figs) contain about 23 net grams of carbs. Figs are also high in soluble fiber, which can create a laxative effect.

So if you're concerned about healthy bones, here are three tasty and nutritious ways to help boost your calcium intake.

To Your Good Health,

Jenny Thompson
Health Sciences Institute

See also:

A bug's revenge
December 2005 - Australian doctors Robin Warren and Barry Marshall were in Stockholm last Friday to receive this year's Nobel Prize in medicine. The citation for the world's most coveted award lauded their "discovery of the bacterium Helicobacter pylori and its role in gastritis and peptic ulcer." But not everyone in the medical fraternity cheered the scientists for their idea which, critics argue, may sound the death-knell of a bug that's one of humanity's oldest and closest companions. Questions were raised over the campaign to fully eliminate the bug, which is believed to be beneficial to many people, including Indians.


posted by Sepp Hasslberger on Monday September 1 2003
updated on Tuesday December 14 2010

URL of this article:





Readers' Comments

I just found out that I have H. Pylori for the second time. I was diagnosed with it about 5 years ago, at which time I actually had no symptoms. I was treated for it at that time. Lately I have been having stomach problems (gas, bloating, nausea) and was tested, results being positive. I am now to start taking the antibiotics again. Why would a person get this a second time? Is it common? Also, is it contagious (ie; from kissing, airborne, etc? I would like your opinion on taking the antibiotics a second time or not. Does it actually do any good? Also, should I be tested after the "cure"? Thanks for your opinion. S. Lopez

Posted by: Susan Lopez on October 10, 2003 09:58 PM


thank you for your comment and questions. You are the judge of what you should be doing with your health. I can only suggest you read the article again and follow some of the pointers for doing your own research. There is enough information out there for you to make an informed decision.

Ask your doctor. Ask an alternative health professional. Get them to tell you what they know, ask them if you don't quite understand. Then go on the internet and search. Based on the opinions you get and on your own search, make up your mind.

Posted by: Josef on October 11, 2003 05:57 PM


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The Individual Is Supreme And Finds Its Way Through Intuition


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

These articles are brought to you strictly for educational and informational purposes. Be sure to consult your health practitioner of choice before utilizing any of the information to cure or mitigate disease. Any copyrighted material cited is used strictly in a non commercial way and in accordance with the "fair use" doctrine.



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